Midwife of the Week!

This is a brand new category! I am aiming to have an interview with the “Midwife of the Week” posted every week, courtesy of my lovely midwifery colleagues and friends. Thanks Sarah for this week’s interview!

1. What is your name, age and favorite colour?

Sarah, 26, favourite colour black!

2. When did you know you wanted to become a midwife?

This is a tricky question! I can’t really ever remember a defining point where I decided I wanted to be a midwife…I did get the opportunity to see some births during my nursing degree so maybe that triggered some interests?

3. Where did you do your midwifery training? Why did you choose that particular uni/hospital?

I did my Midwifery training at Nepean Hospital, a major tertiary referral hospital and I am forever grateful that I did my training at a big hospital like that and was exposed to both low risk and high risk cases. I did my training through Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga which was a distance education course. I chose this over the UWS option as I didn’t want to drive the long distance to uni one day a week! I am glad I chose this option as it was a very well organised course and I felt it focused more on low risk midwifery more so than the UWS course. I had to attend residential school twice in the year and got to meet some great other student midwives from all over NSW/Victoria.

4. How long have you been a midwife? And what area of midwifery do you work in?

I trained to be a midwife in 2007 and have been a midwife ever since so coming up to three and a half years. I currently work in delivery suite which I love! And I have just started one day per week in antenatal clinic which I am really enjoying as well!

5. Are you a mum? Whether you answered yes or no, do you think that has any affect on your practice as a midwife?

No I’m not a mum….one day! I don’t think this affects my practice in any way as a midwife! I probably get asked by at least 90% of women I look after in labour as to whether I have had children but the thing that gets me is that obviously all those male obstetricians/registrars etc have never had a baby – do they get asked? I don’t think so!

6. What is your favorite birthing memory?

My favourite birthing memory! a few births spring to my mind……..my first water birth when i was a student midwife sticks out pretty strongly in my mind (the women who gave birth ended up becoming a midwife and now works at Nepean hospital – currently on mat leave with her second little one)…Another birth would be when I was doing a receive (the second midwife who goes in when a lady is about to have her baby) and the mum and dad were the most excited I had ever seen (even to this day)! The mum was just in awe of her precious newborn and the job she had just done….Was very beautiful – one of those moments that bring tears to a midwives eyes! But apart from mentioning two cases there have been a lot of memorable births yet unfortunately not all for good reasons.

7. Can you recall a time when you were most scared as a midwife?

The time I have been most scared of as a midwife was a case that was not too long ago…..I felt totally out of control as the woman and her friend (who I believe to this day was a doula) were not listening to any of my advice about her birth and she seriously put herself and her baby in jeopardy. I was going along with everyone of their demands up until a certain point when I realised the baby’s life could be in danger….then I had to become more assertive and all of my pleas such as positioning and lighting fell on deaf ears…..this was scary, honestly scary….very very difficult situation to be put in as a midwife….one I hope to never encounter again in my career…

8. What’s your birthing or midwifery philosophy?

My birthing philosophy…..hmmm another tricky question, I don’t have a philosophy per se….I am not all ‘au la natural’ – yet on the other hand I’m not running around delivery suite encouraging epidurals! In my practice I encourage natural, active birth but I also understand there is a time and a place for everything, including pain relief, augmentation induction etc. I would say I am realistic! Sure it is the best when everything is lovely and goes to plan but unfortunately for some women that doesn’t happen for one reason or another.
I try my hardest to be very protective of the women I look after especially when it comes to interfering doctors and medical students. I get angry at doctors and medical students and believe there is no need for them to interfere with a woman’s labour if everything is going well.
Just to add to that question – I do have problems with some private obstetricians and get a bit fired up by them! (Well as much as someone not confrontational like me can get). I just cannot believe what they tell women and get away with, they are definitely not working with evidence based practice and I believe it’s very unfortunate they don’t have to be accountable to a higher body.

9. Do you think you’ll still be a midwife in 20 years?

Will I be a midwife in twenty years…Tricky question again! I am currently studying a Masters in Child and Family health, and am keen to work in that field sometime soon. I do like being a midwife but the shift work involved is very tolling so if there was a way around working Monday to Friday – I could very well still be a midwife for at least another twenty years. Watch this space!

10. What’s one thing you want every expectant mother to know?

The monitoring of foetal movement is of utmost importance! Know your baby’s patterns, know the expected amount of foetal movements and if your baby does not move the expected amount and/or the pattern of movement changes – CALL YOUR MIDWIVES!!! Please Please don’t leave it too late.

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